Multilingual, Globalizing Asia: Implications for policy and education. AILA Review, Volume 22
  • ISSN 1461-0213
  • E-ISSN: 1570-5595
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This paper focusses on language and education issues in Malaysia as they have unfolded in the context of nation building, societal multilingualism and globalization from independence to the present day. The paper first examines the origin and nature of language and medium-of-instruction policies in Malaysia and the rationale for them. Secondly, it discusses the conflicts and controversies pertaining to language and education analyzing the domains of contestation. The next part of the paper reflects on the various shifts in language policy over the decades, from the early institutionalization of Malay to the growing importance of English amidst globalization trends, and finally the recent shift back to Malay, also examining the positioning of the Chinese and Tamil languages in the country. This is followed by a discussion of the emergence of an indigenized variety of English and English as a lingua franca in the region. The paper ends with a critical evaluation of the impact of the language and medium-of-instruction policies, and the constraints of alternative policies, with suggestions for a possible way forward.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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